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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: BrewingRover on February 13, 2011, 10:49:58 PM

Title: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: BrewingRover on February 13, 2011, 10:49:58 PM
Pretty cool, a method of processing spent grains into methane. I wonder how long before the household sized unit will be available?

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/02/13/mit_grads_invention_turns_brewery_waste_to_fuel/?page=full
Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: punatic on February 14, 2011, 01:24:32 AM
Anaerobic digesters have been used for wastewater sludge digestion for decades.  Much of the methane produced is used to heat the digestion process, particularly in cold climates like Vermont.

I suspect the 200 cfm is the maximum biogas output rating, not the nominal output.  It would be interesting to know what percentage of the biogas is methane, and how they dispose of the waste sludge generated by the digester.

You'd have to brew a lot to make a home model feasible.
Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: oscarvan on February 14, 2011, 02:45:32 AM
Wait, you mean you could make fuel from the spent grains and use that to make more beer...... it could brew itself! 8)

(I know, the numbers won't, and can't work that way, but the thought is interesting......)

Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: punatic on February 14, 2011, 02:52:17 AM
Wait, you mean you could make fuel from the spent grains and use that to make more beer...... it could brew itself! 8)

(I know, the numbers won't, and can't work that way, but the thought is interesting......)



A perpetual motion/brewing machine!  I like the way you think.  :)
Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: BrewingRover on February 14, 2011, 12:21:17 PM
You'd have to brew a lot to make a home model feasible.
I forgot one of these ;)
Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: morticaixavier on February 14, 2011, 04:32:03 PM
Anaerobic digesters have been used for wastewater sludge digestion for decades.  Much of the methane produced is used to heat the digestion process, particularly in cold climates like Vermont.

I suspect the 200 cfm is the maximum biogas output rating, not the nominal output.  It would be interesting to know what percentage of the biogas is methane, and how they dispose of the waste sludge generated by the digester.

You'd have to brew a lot to make a home model feasible.


The 'Waste Sludge' is some awesome fertilizer! the problem with most home digesters is that you are digesting human waste (to put it delicatly) which is not considered a good thing to put on your food crops (Fine for flowers though!) if you were exclusivly digesting grains, other none p**py waste you could totaly put it on your vegatable garden and it would be greatly appreciated. At the temps the digester reaches no pathogens can survive so it's not really a worry even with 'human waste' it's just distasteful.
Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: punatic on February 14, 2011, 04:39:46 PM
Domestic wastewater digester sludge is often used as fertilizer.  It is not allowed to be used on root vegetable crops though.
Title: Re: MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel
Post by: rabid_dingo on February 15, 2011, 01:20:33 AM
That is awesome. It is good to see him succeed. I met Eric Fitch at Boston Brewing Co's AHA rally a few years ago. He had been talking to Jim Koch about installing one there. Not sure how that went or how it's going.